ACLU Likes Veterans Court—If It Doesn’t Include Special Sentencing Deals
Posted Jul 15, 2009 1:43 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The American Civil Liberties Union had some objections to a special veterans court in Nevada, but a spokesman says a new court serving veterans in the Chicago area is different.
ACLU of Illinois spokesman Ed Yohnka told the Chicago Tribune that the concern about the Nevada court was that veterans “were sort of automatically transferred into this special court and were provided some options for lower-level sentences." But the new court in Cook County, Ill., "seems to track the model of the drug and mental-health treatment courts that, frankly, seem to be working well," he said.
In recent years, a handful of special veterans courts have opened across the country.
In Cook County, vets charged with less serious felonies such as drug offenses are offered the chance to have their cases heard in the special court, the Tribune story says. The vets don’t get special treatment under the law, but they get assistance with drug treatment, housing, health care and job training.